Over 22% of Bulgarians below Poverty Line in 2010

Business | September 28, 2012, Friday // 14:01|  views

The share of poor in Bulgaria is highest among the unemployed and retired persons. File photo

According to preliminary data from the 2011 survey, in 2010, 22.47% of Bulgaria's population lived below the poverty line.

In the same year, the average monthly poverty line in Bulgaria was 273 BGN per person. The number of persons who were below this line was 1 682.5 thousand.

The flash estimates were released Friday by the country's National Statistical Institute, NSI.

Compared to the previous year the poverty line decreases by 7.4% and the share of poor population increases by 1.7 percentage points.

The social protection system contributes considerably to the poverty decrease. According to 2010 data, if the income from pensions is included into the household's income and the other social transfers are excluded, the poverty level increases from 22.4% to 27.3%, or by 5 percentage points. Respectively, if the pensions and the other social transfers are excluded, the poverty level increases to 40.7%, or by 18.3 percentage points, which means that pensions are an important factor in reducing poverty.

The main factor influencing the risk of poverty for the prevailing part of population is the economic activity and participation in the labor market. For the observed period, the share of poor is highest among the unemployed and retired persons. Compared to the previous year, the highest increase of the risk of poverty in 2010 is observed among inactive persons - 3.5 percentage points and among unemployed - 3.1 percentage points.

The share of poor among employed in 2010 remains the same - 7.7%. The risk of poverty is nearly 5 times higher for the part time employed compared to full time employed. The risk of poverty among working females is lower than among working males.

Educational attainment predefines to a great extent the opportunity to find a better-paid job and is closely correlated with the poverty among employed. More than half of the employed with primary and uncompleted primary education are poor, compared to 27.8% among employed with lower secondary (basic) education.

The difference between the employed poor with college education and employed poor with primary or uncompleted primary education is considerable - more than 45 times (1.2% compared to 56.9%).

Poverty estimates in respect of the household size show that poverty is concentrated among widows/widowers and singles 65 years, single parents, as well as among households with three and more children.

The general indicators on poverty estimates include subjective indicators related to material deprivation. They show the subjective assessment and personal attitude of the persons and households in respect of the possibilities to meet individual needs. The subjective indicators are based on answers of nine questions related to the consumption of specific goods and services. The preliminary 2010 data show that 43.6% of the population was materially deprived (4 out of 9 indicators). The same share for 2009 was 35.0%.

The poverty line is a monetary indicator identifying the poor in the society. The Eurostat method - 60% of the average total disposable net income per equivalent unit is applied for calculation of the poverty line in Bulgaria.

Poverty and social inclusion indicators are part of the general EU indicators for tracing the progress in the field of poverty and social exclusion. Main source of statistical data, on which basis the general indicators are calculated is the annually conducted Survey on Income and Living Conditions.

In relation to the goals set in the "Europe 2020" strategy, a combined indicator is calculated for regular monitoring of the countries' progress in implementing the national targets. Data from the survey of income and living conditions (EU-SILC) is used for the purpose. The indicator includes at-risk-of-poverty rate, severe material deprivation rate and rate of people living in jobless households or households with low work intensity.

The combining of the three indicators shows that in 2010 almost half of the population (49.1%) or 3 693.6 thousand persons need special care to combat poverty, social inequality and exclusion from active work.

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Tags: poor, unemployed, retired persons, poverty line, basic needs, NSI, minimum monthly wage, households


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